WW-152 -- Essays on a Japanese Vade Mecum

=======================================================
J@pan Inc presents the Wireless Watch Newsletter:

W I R E L E S S W A T C H

Commentary on Japan's Wireless World
=======================================================

Wireless Watch Newsletter
Issue No. 152
Tokyo, Friday March 3, 2006

CONTENTS
++ Viewpoint: Essays on a Japanese Vade Mecum

========================================================
JIC Sponsored Interviews

You read Terrie's Take and JIN, and so do 54,000 other
executives inside and outside Japan. Let them know what your
company does, with our new Sponsored Interviews service.
We create a lead-in for the interview, and run it within the
newsletters, with links back to the page holding the full
interview. For a small additional charge, we will also run it
in the Japan Inc magazine, the www.japan.com website, and the
www.japaninc.com web site for archiving. Cumulatively, your
message will be seen by at least 120,000 English-language readers.

E-mail: sales@japaninc.com for more information.
========================================================

++ Essays on a Japanese Vade Mecum

-----
"Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life"
Edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Misa Matsuda
368 pages, hard cover
The MIT Press, 2005 (US$ 39.95)
-----

The Japanese mobile phone phenomenon has been the subject of
a raft of English-language articles and books. Like "Wireless Watch," most
are written by non-Japanese. The book "Personal, Portable, Pedestrian:
Mobile Phones in Japanese Life," edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe and
Misa Matsuda," is a welcome addition to the literature on Japanese keitai.

The word "keitai" roughly translates as "something you carry with you,"
according to the authors. So a keitai allows constant social connection.
Having experienced the keitai boom myself, I know mobile phones are
personal tools. That is why Japanese young people do not wear watches
any more; their keitai serve as clock and alarm, even when abroad without
phone coverage. The mobile phone gets very personal with a popular tool
for young women from 104.com, a mobile application provider. The tool
allows them to input their basal temperature into their phone and plot
their ovulation cycle. The application is linked to a "dating calendar" so
they can check when it is safe to have unsafe sex.

The book is not about keitai technology. It is a collection of 15 essays
that document the emergence, incorporation, and domestication of mobile
communications in a wide range of social practices and institutions.
Tomoyuki Okada, an assistant professor at Kansai University, recounts
the social, cultural, and historical context of keitai development. He
traces the way pagers were used in the early 1990s by Japanese youth as a
predecessor of text messaging.

In an essay titled "The Third Stage Paradigm: Territory Machines from
the Girl?s Pager Revolution to Mobile Aesthetics," Kenichi Fujimoto, of
Mukogawa Women?s University, describes well the integration of keitai
in everyday life and contrasts it with the more escapist character of the
Internet via the PC. Case studies of mobile phone manners and usage
by social groups, of multi-tasking housewives, of schoolchildren, and
of copier technicians flesh out the context of keitai use in Japan.

"Personal, Portable, Pedestrian" is peppered with keitai terms and other
Japanese expressions that will be unfamiliar to some readers. A glossary
of Japanese terms would be welcome in a second edition.

The book is a must read for anyone interested in understanding why
mobile phone usage is so pervasive and persistent in everyday life in
Japan.

While reading the book, I thought back to the days before the mobile
phone -- the world has changed.

========================================================
BiOS IT Support Services

Introduce some discipline and control to your IT infrastructure
by getting a quotation from BiOS for J-E bilingual support and
engineering. With 50+ engineers, we have the size and experience
to look after most sites and projects. Whether you have one
person or one hundred, we welcome all customers.

For more info: technology@biosjp.com.
http://www.biosjp.com
========================================================

SUBSCRIBERS: 22,981 as of March 2, 2006

STAFF
Written by Arjen van Blokland; Edited by Burritt Sabin
(editors@japaninc.com)

(C) Copyright 2005 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.

business